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  1. 1. Community Attitudes to Unsolicited Communications Research Report Prepared for Reference: 090622 24 August 2009
  2. 2. Table of Contents Executive Summary .....................................................................................................................3 Background & Objectives ............................................................................................................8 Background.....................................................................................................................8 Research objectives.......................................................................................................9 Research Methodology...............................................................................................................10 Target population..........................................................................................................10 Sample design..............................................................................................................10 Questionnaire design....................................................................................................10 Interviewers and training...............................................................................................11 Newspoll’s Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing System (CATI) .....................11 Weighting......................................................................................................................11 Sampling error..............................................................................................................11 Guidelines for reading this report.................................................................................13 SECTION 1: EMAIL & MOBILE PHONE USAGE........................................................................14 Email and Mobile Phone Usage.................................................................................................15 Email and mobile phone use........................................................................................15 Types of messages.......................................................................................................17 SECTION 2: THE DO NOT CALL REGISTER..............................................................................19 Awareness of the Do Not Call Register.....................................................................................20 Do Not Call Register Registration..............................................................................................22 Incidence of registration................................................................................................22 Barriers to registering...................................................................................................24 Interest in registering....................................................................................................25 The Registration Process...........................................................................................................27 When registered on Do Not Call Register....................................................................27 Method of registration...................................................................................................28 Ease of registration process.........................................................................................29 Effectiveness of Do Not Call Register.......................................................................................30 Knowledge of the Do Not Call Register and the Industry Standard........................................32 Knowledge of call exemptions......................................................................................32 Knowledge of the registration process.........................................................................33 Knowledge of the industry standard.............................................................................35 SECTION 3: SPAM.......................................................................................................................37 Types of Email Addresses..........................................................................................................38 Awareness and Understanding of Spam...................................................................................41 Awareness of spam......................................................................................................41 Understanding of spam.................................................................................................42 Awareness of Spam Laws..........................................................................................................45 Awareness of laws against spam.................................................................................45 Understanding of spam laws........................................................................................46 ACMA Report: Community Attitudes to Unsolicited Communications 1
  3. 3. Use of Spam Filters.....................................................................................................................48 Personal Experiences with Spam .............................................................................................51 Amount of email spam..................................................................................................51 Time spent on email spam............................................................................................53 How email spam is dealt with.......................................................................................54 Amount of SMS/MMS spam.........................................................................................55 Time spent on SMS/MMS spam...................................................................................56 How SMS/MMS spam is dealt with...............................................................................57 SECTION 4: COMPLAINTS..........................................................................................................58 Complaints Process ...................................................................................................................59 Unsolicited telemarketing call complaints.....................................................................59 Unsolicited email or mobile phone spam complaints...................................................60 Considered making a telemarketing or spam complaint..............................................63 Appendix 1: Sample Profile & Response Summary.................................................................64 Appendix 2: Questionnaire.........................................................................................................66 ACMA Report: Community Attitudes to Unsolicited Communications 2
  4. 4. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY Introduction The Australian Communications and Media Authority (the ACMA) commissioned Newspoll to conduct research to explore community attitudes to unsolicited telemarketing calls and electronic communications, and the awareness and effectiveness of the regimes that regulate these communications. The survey was conducted using a Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI) methodology. Fieldwork was conducted 5-9 June 2009 and 1,625 interviews were completed amongst people aged 18 years and over throughout Australia. The design was a random sample stratified by geographic region and a Random Digit Dialling (RDD) sample frame was used for the survey. The data was post-weighted to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics data on age, highest level of schooling completed, sex and area, to ensure it reflected the distribution of the Australian population. Section 1: Email and Mobile Usage • The majority of Australian adults (85 per cent) have a mobile phone for personal use, and around three in four (74 per cent) have an email address they use for personal purposes. Seven in ten (70 per cent) have both a mobile and an email address for their personal use. • Among those with a personal mobile phone, the majority (85 per cent) send or receive some form of message. The most commonly used message is SMS, with 84 per cent of mobile phone users sending or receiving these. One in three (33 per cent) send or receive MMS, and nearly one in five mobile users (18 per cent) send or receive emails. Section 2: Do Not Call Register Overview: Around one in three Australian adults (32 per cent) have registered a number on the Do Not Call Register (the Register), although some did not personally register the number. While all of these people have their home number on the Register, only six per cent of all adults have registered their mobile phone numbers. The Register appears to have been very effective, particularly for those who have their home phone number registered. Awareness is not the barrier to registration. In fact, awareness of the Register is high, as is the level of interest in registering amongst those not currently on the Register. The key barriers are that people have either not got around to it, or they do not experience problems with telemarketing calls. Awareness and knowledge of aspects of the Do Not Call Register Act and the registration process itself are generally low. • Three in four Australians (75 per cent) have heard of the Register. The main source of awareness is friends and family, or word of mouth, as mentioned by seven in ten who are aware of the Register (69 per cent). Nearly half of those aware of the Register ACMA Report: Community Attitudes to Unsolicited Communications 3
  5. 5. (48 per cent) heard of it on television, while just over a third know of it from the radio (37 per cent) or newspapers (35 per cent). • Around one in three Australian adults (32 per cent) have a number on the Register. Thirty two per cent of households have their home phone number on the Register, with 26 per cent registering their home phone number only, and six per cent registering both their home and mobile numbers. • Of those who have their home number on the Register, 78 per cent registered it themselves and 22 per cent had someone else register it for them. • The main barrier to registering on the Register is simply that they have not got around to it (25 per cent of those not on the Register), or couldn’t be bothered (20 per cent). A further 16 per cent mention they don’t know how to register or know enough about it. In total, nearly three in five (57 per cent) mention these type of barriers. • For others, it is more that they do not experience problems in this area, as mentioned overall by two in five (40 per cent). Fifteen per cent are not on the Register because they don’t receive many unsolicited or telemarketing calls, 14 per cent say unsolicited or telemarketing calls don’t bother them, whilst 12 per cent just tell the caller they are not interested or hang up. • When asked their level of interest in registering on the Register, interest levels are high amongst those not already on the Register. Nearly three in four people not currently on the Register (73 per cent) are interested in registering - and these people are fairly equally divided between those who are ‘very interested’ (38 per cent) and those who are ‘somewhat interested’ (35 per cent). Around a quarter of those not currently on the Register (26 per cent) are not interested in registering. • In terms of the length of time on the Register, one in ten people who have registered a number on the Register (10 per cent) did so within the last three months (one per cent in the last 30 days and nine per cent one to three months ago). So the vast majority (90 per cent) have been on the Register for at least three months. • The vast majority who registered a number on the Register (95 per cent) claim the registration process was easy; with seven in ten (71 per cent) saying it was ‘very easy’. • The most common method of registration is online, as mentioned by three in five (60 per cent) of those who have personally registered a number on the Register. People were twice as likely to register online, than over the telephone (30 per cent registered via the telephone). A small proportion (six per cent) registered by mail. • Around four in five with their home phone number registered (79 per cent) report fewer telemarketing calls since registering. However, 16 per cent report no change in the number of telemarketing calls to their home phone number, and three per cent claim to have experienced an increase in these calls. • Nearly two-thirds of those whose mobile numbers are on the Register (65 per cent) say they have received fewer telemarketing calls. Three in ten (30 per cent), however, report there has been no change in the number of telemarketing calls they receive. ACMA Report: Community Attitudes to Unsolicited Communications 4
  6. 6. • In terms of registrants’ knowledge of the types of calls which are exempt from the Register, they are most likely to be aware that calls from charities are allowed on the Register, as mentioned by seven in ten (70 per cent). Overall, knowledge about the other call types being exempt from the Register is fairly low; registrants are equally divided between those who believe market and social research calls are exempt, and those who think they are not exempt (46 per cent each); only three in ten (30 per cent) are aware that political parties can still make calls to people on the Register; and even fewer (26 per cent) know that calls from educational or religious organisations are allowed on the Register. • When asked about their knowledge of aspects of the registration process, three in five on the Register (60 per cent) are aware that you may still get calls from telemarketers within the first 30 days of registration, only one in four (25 per cent) know that registration is valid for three years, and even fewer (15 per cent) are aware they can re-register any time before the three year registration expires. • The majority of Australians are not aware of the legal restrictions pertaining to telemarketing calls. Around two thirds (68 per cent) feel they do not know anything about the restrictions on the times and days when telemarketers can call. However one in three (32 per cent) claim they know at least a little about these. • Awareness of the restrictions governing call times is low, with nearly nine in ten saying they know nothing about this aspect: just over one in ten (13 per cent) know a little about the fact that the times and days telemarketers can call are somewhat different to when a market researcher can call; even fewer are aware that calls from telemarketers and market researchers may be made outside of the restricted times if the person agrees to this, with 11 per cent knowing ‘a little or a lot’ about this. Section 3: Spam Overview: Awareness and understanding of spam is generally high, as is use of spam filters. However, despite these filters, on average, email users are receiving 23 spam emails a week, with most users deleting them without opening them. SMS or MMS spam is less prevalent, with personal mobile phone users receiving an average of two spam messages per month. Awareness of Australia’s anti spam laws is low. • In terms of the types of email addresses people use to send and receive their personal emails, email addresses provided by internet service providers (ISPs) (63 per cent of this sub-group use this type, and it is the main email address for 48 per cent). The next most commonly used are web-based email accounts such as yahoo or G-Mail (used by 54 per cent of email users, and the main address for 37 per cent). Just under half (47 per cent) have an email address provided by their workplace or place of education which they use for personal emails, and for 13 per cent of email users, this is the one they use most often. • Nearly four in five adults (78 per cent) have heard of the term ‘spam’. Overall there is a fairly high level of understanding of what spam is amongst those who have heard of the term. It is described as unsolicited or unwanted email messages (25 per cent); junk mail (21 per cent); unsolicited or unwanted advertising or trying ACMA Report: Community Attitudes to Unsolicited Communications 5
  7. 7. to sell something people do not want (20 per cent);and advertising or marketing (nine per cent). In terms of overall themes, spam is typically described in a negative way. • Nearly three in ten people (28 per cent) claim to be aware that Australia has laws against spam. However, every second Australian (50 per cent), although aware of spam, did not know there are laws against it. • Among those who say they are aware there are laws against spam, people are most likely to know the laws cover spam sent to an email address, as mentioned by 62 per cent. Forty four per cent of those aware of spam laws believe they cover SMS or MMS spam, and around one in three (32 per cent) believe spam sent to instant messaging accounts is covered by the laws. Only 29 per cent say that spam sent to someone’s profile on a social network webpage is covered by the legislation. • When asked about the types of spam filters used to filter out spam before it reaches people’s email inbox, most of those who have a personal email address (86 per cent) claim to use some sort of spam filter on their email account. The type of spam filters used closely reflects the type of email accounts that people have. The most popular filter (although by only a small margin) is that provided by web- based email account (used by 42 per cent of personal email users). The remainder are fairly equally divided between those who use a filter provided by their place of work/education (37 per cent), their ISP (35 per cent) or one they have bought or downloaded themselves (33 per cent). • On average, email users claim to receive approximately 23 spam emails per week (around three per day) in their personal inbox. One in three email users (33 per cent) report they do not receive any email spam, and 14 per cent receive just one to two spam emails per week, and the same proportion receive three to five spam emails over this period. At the other end of the scale, seven per cent of email users claim they receive over 50 spam emails a week. • The overall time spent dealing with email spam is relatively short, averaging just five minutes per week among all personal emailers. However for a small group, the inconvenience seems to be somewhat greater, with seven per cent claiming to spend more than 15 minutes per week dealing with this, and around half of this group are spending more than half an hour per week managing their spam. • By far the most popular course of action undertaken by those receiving email spam is to delete the spam without opening it, as mentioned by 85 per cent of this sub-group. A further seven per cent say they do nothing and simply ignore their email spam, and a similar proportion (six per cent) deletes their spam after opening them. Relatively few (two per cent) say they use the ‘unsubscribe’ link in these spam emails. • On average, mobile phone users claim to receive just two SMS/MMS spam messages per month. Around three in four personal mobile phone users (76 per cent) do not receive any SMS/MMS spam messages on their mobiles. Thirteen per cent of mobile phone users receive one to two spam messages on their mobiles per month, and a very small minority (one per cent), claim to receive more than 10 per month. ACMA Report: Community Attitudes to Unsolicited Communications 6
  8. 8. • Given the majority of mobile phone users do not receive SMS/MMS spam messages, it is not surprising that the average time spent dealing with these messages is just one minute per month. One in five (19 per cent) mobile phone users spend less than five minutes per month on mobile spam messages, and four per cent report they spend five to ten minutes dealing with these messages. • Every second person who receives SMS/MMS spam on their mobile phone deletes them without opening them. However, unlike email spam, some SMS/MMS spam receivers are inclined to open them before deleting them, with two in five (41 per cent) reporting this is what happens. Section 4: Complaints Overview: Generally people are unsure who they would complain to about unsolicited telemarketing calls. Complaining about unsolicited spam messages, however, is a little clearer, with many opting to contact the telephone or internet service provider. Supporting this, nearly one in four have considered making a complaint, but have not gone through with it (mainly because they didn’t know how to). • Nearly every second Australian (47 per cent) say they do not know who they would contact if they were going to make an official complaint about an unsolicited telemarketing call to their home phone. The most commonly mentioned place is their telephone service provider (26 per cent). Other organisations which were mentioned include the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) (12 per cent) and the organisation that made the call (10 per cent). Seven per cent specifically mentioned the Register, and six per cent say they would contact the ACMA. • Two in five people with a personal mobile phone or email address (39 per cent) say they do not know who they would contact if they were going to make an official complaint about unsolicited email / mobile phone spam. Just over one in three mobile phone/email users (36 per cent) would contact their telephone or ISP. Around one in ten (11 per cent) would contact the organisation that sent the spam, and six per cent each mentioned the ACMA or the ACCC as a place they would go to. • Nearly one in four Australians (24 per cent) say they had thought about making an official complaint about either telemarketing or spam, but decided not to go through with the complaint. The most common reason for not going through with a complaint is being unsure how to go about making the complaint (68 per cent of this sub-group). Others mention they thought it would be too complicated (45 per cent), or their complaint would not be taken seriously (43 per cent) or they didn’t have time (43 per cent). ACMA Report: Community Attitudes to Unsolicited Communications 7
  9. 9. BACKGROUND & OBJECTIVES Background The Australian and Communications Authority (the ACMA) is an independent statutory authority responsible for the regulation of broadcasting, the internet, radiocommunications and telecommunications in Australia. Two areas of the ACMA’s responsibility relevant to this research are: 1. Establishing and overseeing the operation of the Do Not Call Register (the Register), under the Do Not Call Register Act 2006 (the DNCR Act). The Register provides Australians with the opportunity to opt out of receiving certain types of unsolicited telemarketing calls. The ACMA is also responsible for enforcing the Telecommunications (Do Not Call Register) (Telemarketing and Research Calls) Industry Standard 2007 (the Standard). The standard directs when and how telemarketers can contact individuals. Specifically, it governs: • the times at which telemarketing and research calls cannot be made; • information that must be provided by the caller including their name and business; • the termination of telemarketing and research calls; and • the use of calling line identification. 2. Under the Spam Act 2003, it is illegal to send, or cause to be sent, unsolicited commercial electronic messages. The Act covers email, instant messaging, SMS and MMS of a commercial nature. It does not cover faxes, internet pop-ups or voice telemarketing. The ACMA is responsible for enforcing the Spam Act and actively works to fight spam in Australia. The ACMA undertakes investigations into major breaches of the Spam Act. The ACMA also responds to complaints and enquiries about unsolicited electronic messages, and provides information/advice to consumers and businesses on reporting and reducing spam. The Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy is required to review the operations of the DNCR Act in 2010. In preparation for this review, the ACMA commissioned Newspoll to conduct research to explore community attitudes to unsolicited telemarketing calls and electronic communications, and the awareness and effectiveness of the regimes that regulate these communications. In addition to benchmarking awareness levels of the Register, the research will assist the ACMA by informing their future consumer education and communication activities, as well as setting directions for any potential changes to the legislation in the future. ACMA Report: Community Attitudes to Unsolicited Communications 8
  10. 10. Research objectives The research objectives for this study were to measure: • the level of awareness and understanding of the Do Not Call Register (the Register); • registrations on the Register and perceptions of the registration process; • effectiveness of the Register in reducing the amount of telemarketing calls received to the consumer’s telephone number; • awareness of the DNCR Act, for example, prohibited calling times, exempt organisations, requirement to re-register after three years etc; • the level of awareness and understanding of spam and the Spam Act; • personal experiences with spam; and • awareness of the complaints process for the Register and for unsolicited electronic messages. ACMA Report: Community Attitudes to Unsolicited Communications 9
  11. 11. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY The survey was conducted using a Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI) methodology. Fieldwork started on 5 June 2009 and finished on 9 June 2009 and 1,625 interviews were completed. A detailed description of the methodology used to undertake the research is included in this section. Target population The target population was all people aged 18 years and over in Australia. One person per household was selected based on a last birthday screening method. Sample design The design was a random sample of 1,625 persons aged 18 years and over stratified by geographic region (see table below). Quotas were set for groups of statistical divisions or subdivisions. The sample frame was the new Random Digit Dialing (RDD)-based frame developed by the Association of Market and Social Research Organisations (AMSRO) exclusively for AMSRO members. The following table shows the achieved final sample numbers, which were exactly the same as the planned sample design. Sample Achieved for Unsolicited Communications Survey Sample achieved Five main Rest of Total capital state cities New South Wales (incl ACT) 260 200 460 Victoria 260 134 394 Queensland 134 134 268 South Australia 134 70 204 Western Australia 134 70 204 Tasmania - 70 70 Northern Territory - 25 25 TOTAL 922 703 1,625 A full sample profile and response rate information is appended to this report (Appendix 1). Questionnaire design A draft questionnaire was developed by Newspoll, with input and approval from the ACMA. This draft questionnaire was pre-tested, using a cognitive interview methodology, to ensure the questions and response categories made sense, were not ambiguous, flowed well, and so on. This stage involved six face-to-face depth interviews with randomly recruited respondents, and they were conducted at Newspoll’s offices in Sydney by the ACMA Report: Community Attitudes to Unsolicited Communications 10
  12. 12. Project Directors responsible for the study. The findings from this stage were provided to the ACMA in a report, which included recommendations for changes to the survey script. Newspoll then prepared a final questionnaire based on the ACMA’s feedback to the pre- test report. A copy of the questionnaire is appended to this report (Appendix 2). Interviewers and training All interviewers used for the Unsolicited Communications Survey were trained on how to administer the questionnaire by the CATI supervisor. Written instructions were also supplied to all interviewers. Interviewer training covered the following issues: • Survey overview; • Nature and purpose of the survey; • Questionnaire content; • Contact procedures/administration; • Quality control procedures, and • Practice interviews. All interviewers were continuously supervised during and after the initial training session to ensure that the procedures were followed correctly throughout the duration of interviewing, and to allow the prompt resolution of respondent queries. Newspoll’s Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing System (CATI) Newspoll maintains a CATI telephone system in Sydney. CATI allows automatic sequencing of survey respondents to ensure accurate survey completion. In-built range and logic checks are applied to the program where appropriate to further ensure data validity. CATI can automatically program call back and appointment times, thereby maximising respondents’ satisfaction through continually adhering to interview arrangements. The CATI system also allows the option of rotating prompted survey responses to minimise any ordering effect. Supervisors observe the interviewing process via another computer screen and provide feedback to interviewers and resolve queries. The overall result is a very closely monitored and controlled survey process resulting in high quality data. Weighting The data was post-weighted to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics data on age, highest level of schooling completed, sex and area, to ensure it reflected the distribution of the Australian population. Sampling error Significance levels for this survey are defined as twice the relative standard error, which corresponds to a 95 per cent confidence interval for the results. That is, if the survey were to be repeated there is a 95 per cent chance that the new results obtained would be within the interval reported, plus or minus its significance level. ACMA Report: Community Attitudes to Unsolicited Communications 11
  13. 13. Set out below are the estimates of significance for a particular estimate (proportion / percentage) from the survey. Significance Levels (95 per cent confidence level) Sample size (n) Proportion of 1,625 800 600 500 300 200 100 sample (%) 90% or 10% 2% 2% 2% 3% 3% 4% 6% 80% or 20% 2% 3% 3% 4% 5% 6% 8% 70% or 30% 2% 3% 4% 4% 5% 6% 9% 60% or 40% 2% 3% 4% 4% 6% 7% 10% 50% 2% 4% 4% 4% 6% 7% 10% We have used the Simple Random Sample (SRS) formulas for the calculation of variances, ie. pq/n. Note that the significance limits relate to the sample size on which an estimated proportion is based. For example, from the survey we know that the proportion of males aged 18 years and over who have registered a number on the Do Not Call Register is 31 per cent and this was based on a sample of 812 males. The closest proportion in the above table to 31 per cent is 30 per cent and the closest sample size is 800. Where 30 per cent and 800 intersect gives a significance limit of three per cent. That is, we can be 95 per cent confident that the population value is (31 per cent +/- three per cent) or between 28 per cent and 34 per cent. When comparing a result between sub-groups (eg comparing those aged 18–34 and 65 years and over), the margin of error depends on the base size of the sub-groups and the percentages being compared. As a rule of thumb, for example, when comparing results between: • those aged 18–34 years (n=206) and 65 years and over (n=440) then you would need a difference of at least six percentage points for proportions around 10 per cent or 90 per cent, or at least nine percentage points for proportions closer to 50 per cent. If differences are of this magnitude then it is likely that a statistically significant difference exists between the two sub-groups. • people residing in capital cities (n=922) and outside of capital cities (n=703) then you would need a difference of at least four percentage points for proportions around 10 per cent or 90 per cent, or at least six percentage points for proportions closer to 50 per cent. Note that the descriptive commentary in this report only refers to differences that are statistically significant. ACMA Report: Community Attitudes to Unsolicited Communications 12
  14. 14. Guidelines for reading this report Readers should note: • Columns in tables or bars in graphs may not sum exactly to 100 per cent due to rounding; • Some of the questions invite a multiple response and so the total responses sum to more than 100 per cent; • While some of the questions are unprompted (ie they are asked in an open manner, without reading possible answers), the majority are prompted where a list of possible answers are read, or respondents are prompted on issues and asked if they agree or disagree; and • Some questions are filtered depending on the respondent’s previous response (eg asked only of those who send or receive personal emails). This is always shown as the ‘base’ on a graph or in a table. Care needs to be taken when interpreting the results, so that the data is analysed in the correct context. ACMA Report: Community Attitudes to Unsolicited Communications 13
  15. 15. SECTION 1: EMAIL & MOBILE PHONE USAGE ACMA Report: Community Attitudes to Unsolicited Communications 14
  16. 16. EMAIL AND MOBILE PHONE USAGE This section examines whether people have an email address and/or mobile phone for personal use, and the types of messages they send or receive on their mobile phone. Email and mobile phone use People were asked if they have an email address and/or a mobile phone they use for personal purposes. Use of email / mobile phones for personal purposes Q1. “Which of the following do you have?... 1)An email address that you use for personal emails? 2) A mobile which you use for personal purposes?” Email address only TOTAL EMAIL 4% Mobile phone TOTAL MOBILE Both mobile ADDRESS phone & email only PHONE 74% address 15% 85% 70% Neither / don’t know 10% BASE: ADULTS AGED 18+ NATIONALLY (n=1625) The majority of Australian adults (85 per cent) have a mobile phone for personal use, and around three in four (74 per cent) have an email address they use for personal purposes. Seven in ten (70 per cent) have both a mobile and an email address for their personal use. ACMA Report: Community Attitudes to Unsolicited Communications 15
  17. 17. The following table shows some of the key demographic differences (and percentages are read across the row). Use of email / mobile phones for Total have Total have personal purposes email mobile Have both % address phone Age 18–34 92 96 89 35–49 83 88 76 50–64 70 85 64 65+ 41 66 37 Area 5 Cap city 79 88 75 X-City 67 81 61 State NSW / ACT 75 86 70 VIC 74 86 68 QLD 77 85 72 SA / NT 67 84 61 WA 79 84 72 TAS 64 83 59 Education Primary / secondary school 59 80 56 College / apprenticeship 76 87 70 University degree 92 91 86 Personal use of a mobile phone and an email address are both higher amongst: • those aged 18–34 years (92 per cent of this age group has an email address and 96 per cent has a mobile phone they use for personal purposes); • people residing in the five main capital cities (79 per cent of these capital city residents have an email address, compared with 67 per cent of those residing outside of capital city areas; 88 per cent of those in capital cities have a mobile phone for personal use); • those with a higher level of education; • people living in Queensland, NSW/ACT and Western Australia (especially compared with those in Tasmania and South Australia/Northern Territory). ACMA Report: Community Attitudes to Unsolicited Communications 16
  18. 18. Types of messages Those with a mobile phone used for personal purposes were then asked about the types of messages they send or receive. Types of messages sent / received on mobile phone Q2. Which of the following, if any, do you either send or receive on this personal mobile phone?” BASE: All have personal mobile phone SMS 84 MMS 33 Emails 18 None / don't know 15 0 20 40 60 80 100 % BASE: (n=1343) Among those with a personal mobile phone, the majority (85 per cent) send or receive some form of message. The most commonly used message is SMS, with 84 per cent of mobile phone users sending or receiving these. One in three (33 per cent) send or receive MMS, and nearly one in five mobile users (18 per cent) send or receive emails. ACMA Report: Community Attitudes to Unsolicited Communications 17
  19. 19. Types of messages sent / received on mobile phone – by age Q2. Which of the following, if any, do you either send or receive on this personal mobile phone?” BASE: All have personal mobile phone SMS % 100 97 92 81 MMS 80 EMAIL 60 49 44 38 40 26 18 20 18 10 8 9 0 18-34 35-49 50-64 65+ 18-34 35-49 50-64 65+ 18-34 35-49 50-64 65+ BASE: EACH SUB-GROUP W ITH PERSONAL MOBILE PHONE Usage of all message types is highest for the 18–34 years olds, and then declines across the older age groups. The proportion of mobile phone users sending or receiving SMS drops dramatically for the 65 years and over age group, even compared to those aged 50– 64 years. ACMA Report: Community Attitudes to Unsolicited Communications 18
  20. 20. SECTION 2: THE DO NOT CALL REGISTER ACMA Report: Community Attitudes to Unsolicited Communications 19
  21. 21. AWARENESS OF THE DO NOT CALL REGISTER This section examines the level of awareness and the source of awareness of the Do Not Call Register (the Register). People were told that 'in May 2007, the Australian government introduced the Do Not Call Register, where people can list their home fixed-line and mobile phone numbers so they don’t receive certain telemarketing calls’. They were then asked if they had heard of the Do Not Call Register. Awareness of the Do Not Call Register Q3. “Had you heard of the Do Not Call Register before today?” Q4. “In which of the following places have you heard about the Do Not Call Register?” % Friends / family / word of mouth 69 No Television 48 25% Yes Radio 37 75% Newspapers 35 The internet 12 Somewhere else 8 BASE: AWARE OF DO NOT CALL REGISTER (n=1287) BASE: ADULTS AGED 18+ NATIONALLY (n=1625) Three in four Australians (75 per cent) have heard of the Register. The main source of awareness is friends and family, or word of mouth, as mentioned by seven in ten who are aware of the Register (69 per cent). Nearly half of those aware of the Register (48 per cent) heard of it on television, while just over a third know of it from the radio (37 per cent) or newspapers (35 per cent). ACMA Report: Community Attitudes to Unsolicited Communications 20
  22. 22. The following table shows some of the key demographic differences (percentages are read across the row). Awareness of the Do Not Call Register Yes / heard of % Age 18–34 65 35–49 78 50–64 84 65+ 78 Income Less than $40K 68 $40 – $79K 75 $80K+ 80 State NSW / ACT 70 VIC 79 QLD 78 SA / NT 78 WA 75 TAS 82 • Awareness is higher amongst those aged 50–64 years, and lower amongst those aged 18–34 years (84 per cent versus 65 per cent respectively); • Those with a higher household income ($80K+) are more likely than those with a lower income (less than $40K) to be aware of the Register (80 per cent versus 68 per cent respectively); • Awareness is broadly similar by state, with two outliers being Tasmania (higher than average at 82 per cent) and NSW/ACT (lower than average at 70 per cent). ACMA Report: Community Attitudes to Unsolicited Communications 21
  23. 23. DO NOT CALL REGISTER REGISTRATION This section examines the incidence of registration, barriers to registration, and the level of interest in registering on the Register. Incidence of registration Those who were aware of the Register were asked if they had personally registered any phone numbers on it, and if so, whether they had registered their home fixed-line phone number and/or their mobile phone number. If they did not state they had personally registered their home phone number, they were also asked if anyone else had registered it for them. The following graph shows the results for all of these questions (and the incidence of being on the Register has been recalculated on the total sample, so it is based on all people aged 18 years and over). Registered any number on Do Not Call Register - summary Q5. “Have you personally registered any phone numbers yourself on the Do Not Call Register?” Q10. “Has anyone else registered your home fixed-line phone number on the Do Not Call Register?” Who registered home phone number? Someone Both mobile & else 6% home phone 22% Not registered / 32% in total on not aware of DNCR 68% DNCR Home phone number only Self 26% 78% BASE: ADULTS AGED 18+ NATIONALLY (n=1625) BASE: REGISTERED HOME PHONE NUMBER ON DNCR (n=580) Around one in three Australian adults (32 per cent) have a number on the Register. Thirty two per cent of households have their home phone number on the Register, with 26 per cent registering their home phone number only and six per cent registering both their home and mobile numbers.1 1 Less than 0.5% had registered only their mobile phone number (which is rounded to zero and therefore not shown in the graph). ACMA Report: Community Attitudes to Unsolicited Communications 22
  24. 24. Of those who have their home number on the Register, 78 per cent registered it themselves and 22 per cent had someone else register it for them. Total registered Total registered mobile phone home number number Age 18–34 21 4 35–49 37 10 50–64 37 9 65+ 35 4 State NSW / ACT 27 7 VIC 36 6 QLD 38 8 SA / NT 27 5 WA 27 4 TAS 52 7 Education Primary / secondary school 29 5 College / apprenticeship 32 7 University degree 35 8 • People aged 35 years and over are more likely to have their home phone number on the Register, than those aged 18–34 years, and those aged 35–64 years are more likely to have registered their mobile phone number, than those aged 18–34 or 65 years and over; • Households in Tasmania are more likely to be on the Register compared with all other states and territories, and those in Victoria and Queensland are also more likely to be on the Register (though to a lesser extent than Tasmania) compared with others; • People with a university degree are also more likely to be on the Register. Analysing the registration figures based just on those who are aware of the Register: • 43 per cent of those aware of the Register have their home phone number on it; • Nine per cent of those aware of the Register have their mobile phone number on it; and • 54 per cent of those aware of the Register have not registered any numbers on it, and a further three per cent don’t know. ACMA Report: Community Attitudes to Unsolicited Communications 23
  25. 25. Barriers to registering Those who are aware of the Register, but have not registered a number on it (either personally or via someone else), were asked why they have not registered. Those aware of Main reasons not registered Register, but not registered (n=701) % Total mentions not bothered / not got around to / forgot / 57 don’t know enough Haven’t got around to it / too busy / not enough time 25 Couldn’t be bothered / too lazy 20 Don’t know how to / forgotten the number / haven’t heard 16 enough about it Forgot to register / never thought about it / don’t think about it 6 Total mentions not a significant problem 40 Don’t receive many unsolicited / telemarketing calls 15 Doesn’t bother me / no need / like telemarketing calls 14 Just say ‘not interested’ / hang up 12 Never at home / never use home phone 5 Don’t pick up calls from unknown numbers / let it go to 2 answering machine Already have a silent / private number 2 Heard that it doesn’t work / doesn’t apply to some calls 5 The main barrier to registering on the Register amongst this sub-group is simply that people have not got around to it (25 per cent), or couldn’t be bothered (20 per cent). A further 16 per cent mention they don’t know how to register or enough about it. In total, nearly three in five (57 per cent) mention these type of barriers. For others, it is more that they do not experience problems in this area, as mentioned overall by two in five (40 per cent). Fifteen per cent are not on the Register because they don’t receive many unsolicited or telemarketing calls, 14 per cent say unsolicited or telemarketing calls don’t bother them, whilst 12 per cent just tell the caller they are not interested or hang up. ACMA Report: Community Attitudes to Unsolicited Communications 24
  26. 26. Interest in registering Those who have not registered on the Register (regardless of whether they have heard of it before) were asked their level of interest in registering. Interest in registering on Do Not Call Register Q12. “How interested would you be in registering on the Do Not Call Register?” % 100 BASE: Aware DNCR but not registered any numbers or not aware DNCR 80 73 60 Very 38 interested 40 Somewhat 20 interested 35 0 Not interested 20 26 40 BASE: n=1039 Interest levels are high amongst this group. Nearly three in four people not currently on the Register (73 per cent) are interested in registering. These people are fairly equally divided between those who are ‘very interested’ (38 per cent) and those who are ‘somewhat interested’ (35 per cent). Around a quarter of those not currently on the Register (26 per cent) are not interested in registering. ACMA Report: Community Attitudes to Unsolicited Communications 25
  27. 27. The following graph shows the results by whether they had previously heard of the Register or not. Interest in registering on Do Not Call Register Q12. “How interested would you be in registering on the Do Not Call Register?” BASE: Not registered any numbers % Aware of Register but Not aware of 100 not registered Register 80 74 71 60 36 Very interested 41 40 20 38 Somewhat interested 30 0 Not interested 20 25 27 40 BASE: n=701 and 338 Overall, interest does not differ significantly between those who had previously heard of the Register and those who had not, with 74 per cent and 71 per cent respectively, interested in registering. In terms of other demographic differences, the level of interest in registering on the Register is higher amongst those aged 50–64 years (47 per cent aware of the Register but not registered on it in this age group are very interested in registering), and lower amongst those aged 65 years and over (36 per cent of this age group not already on the Register are not interested in registering). ACMA Report: Community Attitudes to Unsolicited Communications 26
  28. 28. THE REGISTRATION PROCESS This section examines how long ago people registered on the Register, the method of registration they used, and how easy the registration process was. This section is asked amongst those who have personally registered a number on the Register. When registered on Do Not Call Register When registered on Do Not Call Register Q7. “How long ago did you register on the Do Not Call Register?” BASE: All personally registered number on the Register 1-3 months ago 9% Last 30 days 1% More than 3 months ago 90% BASE: n=476 One in ten people who have registered a number on the Register (10 per cent) did so within the last three months (one per cent in the last 30 days and nine per cent one to three months ago). So the vast majority (90 per cent) have been on the Register for at least three months. ACMA Report: Community Attitudes to Unsolicited Communications 27
  29. 29. Method of registration How registered number(s) on Do Not Call Register Q8. “Did you register online, by telephone or by mail?” BASE: All personally registered number on the Register % 100 Age % 18-49 76 80 50-64 57 65+ 27 Age % 18-49 18 60 50-64 36 60 65+ 52 Age % 18-49 4 40 50-64 3 30 65+ 14 20 6 4 0 Online Telephone Mail Don't know BASE: n=476 Online registrations have been the most common, as mentioned by three in five (60 per cent) of those who have personally registered a number on the Register2. This method was particularly popular amongst those aged 50 years and under. People were twice as likely to register online, than over the telephone (30 per cent registered via the telephone, although this was the preferred method for those aged 65 and over). A small proportion (six per cent) registered by mail, and they were most likely to be aged 65 years and over. 2 This survey data may differ to the ACMA’s internal data for a number of reasons, such as the survey relies on recall, is based on the proportion of people (not numbers they registered), and 22 per cent of those on the Register did not register the number themselves. ACMA Report: Community Attitudes to Unsolicited Communications 28
  30. 30. Ease of registration process How easy it was to register Q9. “How easy was it to register?” BASE: All with personally registered number on the Register Somewhat easy Not very easy 1% 24% 4% Don’t know Very easy Online Phone Mail* 71% % % % Very easy 72 69 81 BASE: n=273, 158, 26* (low base) BASE: n=476 The vast majority (95 per cent) claim the registration process was easy; with seven in ten (71 per cent) saying it was ‘very easy’. Females are more likely than males to rate it ‘very easy’ (77 per cent versus 63 per cent respectively). For a small minority (one per cent) the registration process was ‘not very easy’. The ratings did not significantly differ by registration method (note small base sizes). ACMA Report: Community Attitudes to Unsolicited Communications 29
  31. 31. EFFECTIVENESS OF DO NOT CALL REGISTER This section examines whether being on the Register has resulted in fewer telemarketing calls to people’s home phone or mobile numbers. Those on the Register were told that telemarketing calls are voice calls made to a phone number to offer, sell or advertise goods or services. Telemarketing calls do not include calls from market researchers, political parties, charities and businesses with whom they have an ongoing relationship, for example, their bank. People who have their home phone number on the Register were asked whether they are receiving more, fewer or the same number of telemarketing calls on their home phone, since joining the Register. Those with their mobile phone numbers registered were asked the same question in relation to telemarketing calls on their mobile. Number of telemarketing calls received since joining the Do Not Call Register Q14. “Would you say since joining the Do Not Call Register you are currently receiving more, fewer, or the same number of telemarketing calls to your (fixed-line home / mobile) phone number?” BASE: Registered number on the Register % 100 HOME PHONE MOBILE PHONE 79 80 65 60 FEWER 40 20 0 MORE 1 3 SAME 16 30 20 BASE: n=580 and n=117 The Register appears to have been very effective, particularly for those who have their home phone number registered. Around four in five with their home phone number registered (79 per cent) report fewer telemarketing calls since registering. However, 16 per cent report no change in the number of telemarketing calls to their home phone number, and three per cent claim to have experienced an increase in these calls. ACMA Report: Community Attitudes to Unsolicited Communications 30
  32. 32. • Those aged 35 years and over are more likely than those aged under 35 to report a decline in telemarketing calls to their home phone number (81 per cent versus 65 per cent respectively). • There appears to be no significant differences by length of time people have been on the Register (although the base sizes are extremely small). Nearly two-thirds of those whose mobile numbers are on the Register (65 per cent) say they have received fewer telemarketing calls. Three in ten (30 per cent) report there has been no change in the number of telemarketing calls they receive. The base sizes are too small for mobile phones for any demographic differences to be detected. ACMA Report: Community Attitudes to Unsolicited Communications 31
  33. 33. KNOWLEDGE OF THE DO NOT CALL REGISTER AND THE INDUSTRY STANDARD This section examines people’s knowledge of whether certain call types are exempt from the Register, their awareness of aspects of the registration process, and also their knowledge of the industry standards, such as the times and days that telemarketers can call. Knowledge of call exemptions Those who have a number registered on the Register were asked whether or not they know if certain types of calls are exempt from the Register. They were read a list of call types and asked if each was allowed or not allowed to be made to people on the Register. Knowledge of the Do Not Call Register Q13. “Can you please tell me if, before today, you thought the following organisations are allowed or not allowed to make calls to people on the Register?” BASE: Registered any number on the Register DON’T NOT ALLOWED ALLOWED KNOW CHARITIES 23 70 7 MARKET AND SOCIAL 46 8 46 RESEARCH COMPANIES POLITICAL PARTIES 58 30 12 EDUCATIONAL OR RELIGIOUS 54 26 20 ORGANISATIONS % 80 60 40 20 0 20 40 60 80 BASE: n=586 Those on the Register are most likely to be aware that calls from charities are allowed on the Register, as mentioned by seven in ten (70 per cent). Awareness that charity calls are allowed is somewhat higher amongst: • Females than males (74 per cent versus 65 per cent respectively); • Those who personally registered the home phone number (72 per cent versus 61 per cent amongst those who had someone else register the number). ACMA Report: Community Attitudes to Unsolicited Communications 32
  34. 34. Overall, knowledge about the other call types being exempt from the Register is fairly low, and differs by call types. Amongst those on the Register: • People are equally divided between those who believe market and social research calls are exempt, and those who think they are not exempt (46 per cent each); • Only three in ten (30 per cent) are aware that political parties can still make calls to people on the Register, with the majority believing otherwise (58 per cent say they are not allowed and 12 per cent don’t know); • Even fewer (26 per cent) know that calls to registrants from educational or religious organisations are allowed under the Act. Knowledge of the registration process Those who have a number registered on the Register were also asked about some aspects of the registration process. Knowledge of the Do Not Call Register Q15. “For each of the following please tell me if you are aware or not aware they apply to the Do Not Call Register. Firstly... ?” BASE: Registered any number on the Register NOT AWARE / DON’T KNOW AWARE YOU MAY STILL GET CALLS FROM TELEMARKETERS 40 60 WITHIN THE FIRST 30 DAYS OF REGISTRATION REGISTRATION IS VALID FOR 75 25 3 YEARS YOU CAN RE-REGISTER BEFORE THE 3 YEAR 85 15 REGISTRATION EXPIRES % 100 80 60 40 20 0 20 40 60 80 BASE: n=586 ACMA Report: Community Attitudes to Unsolicited Communications 33
  35. 35. Three in five on the Register (60 per cent) are aware that you may still get calls from telemarketers within the first 30 days of registration. Awareness of this aspect of the Register is higher amongst the following Register registrants: • those aged 35–49 years (67 per cent), compared with those aged 65 years and over (51 per cent); • those with higher education levels (eg 66 per cent for university educated people versus 55 per cent for those who have completed secondary school as their highest education); and • those who personally registered their number (68 per cent) rather than someone else registering it (32 per cent). Only one in four (25 per cent) know that registration is valid for three years, and this knowledge is higher amongst the following registrants: • those aged under 65 years (29 per cent) compared with those aged 65 years and over (12 per cent); and • those who had personally registered their number (29 per cent) rather than someone else having registering it (10 per cent). Even fewer (15 per cent) are aware they can re-register any time before the three year registration expires. Awareness is higher amongst those on the Register who: • are aged 35–64 years (19 per cent) compared with those aged 65 years and over (nine per cent); and • personally registered their number (18 per cent) rather than someone else registering it (five per cent). ACMA Report: Community Attitudes to Unsolicited Communications 34
  36. 36. Knowledge of the industry standard All respondents were informed there are rules which direct when a telemarketing or research call can be made to them. They were read the following aspects of the industry standard and asked whether they know nothing, a little or a lot about these:  There are restrictions on the times and days telemarketers can call  The times and days that telemarketers can call are somewhat different to when a market researcher can call  Calls from telemarketers and market researchers may be made outside of the restricted times if you agree to this. Knowledge of Industry Standards Q16(a)/(b)/(c). “There are rules which direct when a telemarketing or research call can be made to you… How much would you say you know about these restrictions? ” KNOW KNOW TOTAL KNOW KNOW NOTHING / DON’T KNOW A LITTLE A LOT A LOT / A LITTLE Registered any number Yes No THERE ARE RESTRICTIONS ON TIME & DAY WHEN THEY 68 31 32 40 29 CAN CALL TIMES & DAYS CAN CALL ARE DIFFERENT FOR 87 13 13 19 10 TELEMARKETERS & RESEARCHERS CALLS MAY BE MADE OUTSIDE RESTRICTED TIMES 88 10 11 15 9 IF YOU AGREE % 100 80 60 40 20 0 20 40 60 80 100 BASE: n=1625 The majority of Australians are not aware of any industry standard around telemarketing calls. Around two thirds (68 per cent) feel they don’t know anything about the restrictions on the times and days when telemarketers can call, however one in three (32 per cent) claim they know at least a little about these. ACMA Report: Community Attitudes to Unsolicited Communications 35
  37. 37. Knowledge of these restrictions tends to be higher (in terms of knowing ‘a little or a lot’) among those: • living in South Australia/Northern Territory (36 per cent), New South Wales/ACT (34 per cent), Victoria or Western Australia (each 32 per cent), compared with those living in Tasmania (20 per cent), despite Tasmanians being more likely to be on the Register; • who have heard of the Register (38 per cent versus 16 per cent for those who have not heard of the Register); • who are on the Register (40 per cent versus 29 per cent for those not on the Register); and • who have been on the Register for more than three months (43 per cent versus 26 per cent for those who have been on it for a shorter period). Awareness of other aspects of the industry standard asked about is low, with nearly nine in ten saying they know nothing about these aspects. Just over one in ten (13 per cent) know a little about the fact that the times and days telemarketers can call are somewhat different to when a market researcher can call. Knowledge of these restrictions tends to be somewhat higher (in terms of knowing ‘a little or a lot’) amongst those: • aged 50–64 years (17 per cent) compared with those aged under 35 (10 per cent); • living in South Australia/Northern Territory (19 per cent), compared with those living in Tasmania (six per cent) or Victoria (10 per cent); • who have heard of the Register (15 per cent versus seven per cent for those who have not heard of the Register); and • who are on the Register (19 per cent versus 10 per cent for those not on the Register). Even fewer are aware that calls from telemarketers and market researchers may be made outside of the restricted times if the person agrees to this, with 11 per cent knowing ‘a little or a lot’ about this. Knowledge of these restrictions tends to be higher (in terms of knowing ‘a little or a lot’) amongst those: • living in South Australia/Northern Territory (17 per cent), particularly compared with those living in Tasmania (three per cent) or to a lesser extent Victoria (10 per cent); • who have heard of the Register (13 per cent versus six per cent for those who have not heard of the Register); and • who are on the Register (15 per cent versus nine per cent for those not on the Register). ACMA Report: Community Attitudes to Unsolicited Communications 36
  38. 38. SECTION 3: SPAM ACMA Report: Community Attitudes to Unsolicited Communications 37
  39. 39. TYPES OF EMAIL ADDRESSES This section examines the types of email addresses people use to send and receive their personal emails. Ways send and receive personal emails Q17(a). “In which of the following ways, if any, do you send and receive personal emails nowadays?” Q17(b) And which one do you use most often…? BASE: All have personal email address EMAIL ADDRESS 48 15 63 PROVIDED BY ISP WEB-BASED USE MOST OFTEN 37 17 54 EMAIL ADDRESS ALSO USE EMAIL ADDRESS PROVIDED BY WORK / PLACE 13 32 45 OF EDUCATION 0 20 40 60 80 100 % BASE: n=1157 Among those that have an email address that they use for personal emails (74 per cent of all adults); • ISP-provided email addresses are the most common, with 63 per cent of this sub- group using an address provided by their ISP. This is the main email address for 48 per cent of those with personal email addresses. • The next most commonly used are web-based email accounts such as yahoo or G- Mail, which 54 per cent of email users have. This is the main account used by 37 per cent of email users. • Just under half (47 per cent) have an email address provided by their workplace or place of education which they use for personal emails, and for 13 per cent of email users, this is the one they use most often. ACMA Report: Community Attitudes to Unsolicited Communications 38
  40. 40. The following three graphs show the demographic breakdown of each email type. Ways send and receive personal emails Q17(a). “In which of the following ways, if any, do you send and receive personal emails nowadays?” Q17(b) And which one do you use most often…? BASE: All have personal email address % 100 Use email address provided by ISP 78 80 76 75 73 72 69 62 59 60 57 57 58 60 56 46 43 42 41 40 27 20 0 18-34 35-49 50-64 65+ 5 CAP CITY X-CITY PRIMARY / COLLEGE / UNIVERSITY SECONDARYAPPRENTICESHIP DEGREE SCHOOL AGE AREA EDUCATION USE MOST OFTEN ALSO USE BASE: EACH SUB-GROUP WITH PERSONAL EMAIL ADDRESSES Ways send and receive personal emails Q17(a). “In which of the following ways, if any, do you send and receive personal emails nowadays?” Q17(b) And which one do you use most often…? % BASE: All have personal email address 100 Use web-based email address 77 80 60 60 58 60 53 46 47 44 42 39 39 40 40 31 29 26 27 23 17 20 0 18-34 35-49 50-64 65+ 5 CAP CITY X-CITY PRIMARY / COLLEGE / UNIVERSITY SECONDARYAPPRENTICESHIP DEGREE SCHOOL AGE AREA EDUCATION USE MOST OFTEN ALSO USE BASE: EACH SUB-GROUP WITH PERSONAL EMAIL ADDRESSES ACMA Report: Community Attitudes to Unsolicited Communications 39
  41. 41. Ways send and receive personal emails Q17(a). “Thinking now just about email. In which of the following ways, if any, do you send and receive personal emails nowadays?” Q17(b) And which one do you use most often…? % BASE: All have personal email address 100 80 Use email address provided by work / place of education 61 60 55 52 48 39 37 36 40 32 17 20 14 15 15 15 11 12 8 6 3 0 18-34 35-49 50-64 65+ 5 CAP CITY X-CITY PRIMARY / COLLEGE / UNIVERSITY SECONDARYAPPRENTICESHIP DEGREE SCHOOL AGE AREA EDUCATION USE MOST OFTEN ALSO USE BASE: EACH SUB-GROUP WITH PERSONAL EMAIL ADDRESSES ISP email accounts are more popular amongst: • people aged 35 years and over (particularly those aged 65 years and over); • those living outside of capital cities; and • those whose highest education is college/apprenticeships. Web-based email accounts (such as hotmail, yahoo or G-mail) are more likely to be used by: • people aged under 35 years; • those living in capital cities; and • university-educated people. Email accounts provided by people’s work or place of education are more likely than average to be popular amongst: • people aged under 65 years (particularly those aged under 50 years); • those living in capital cities; and • university-educated people. ACMA Report: Community Attitudes to Unsolicited Communications 40
  42. 42. AWARENESS AND UNDERSTANDING OF SPAM This section examines people’s awareness of spam, as well as their understanding of what spam is. Awareness of spam People were asked if they have ever heard of the term ‘spam’ in relation to emails and mobile phone messages. Awareness of the term ‘spam’ Q18. “Thinking again about emails and mobile phone messages. Have you heard of the term spam in relation to these?” No Yes 22% 78% BASE: ADULTS AGED 18+ NATIONALLY (n=1625) Nearly four in five adults (78 per cent) have heard of the term ‘spam’. ACMA Report: Community Attitudes to Unsolicited Communications 41
  43. 43. The following table shows the key demographic differences: Awareness of the term ‘spam’% Yes / heard of spam Have personal email address Yes 91 No 41 Have personal mobile phone Yes 83 No 50 Age 18–34 88 35–49 86 50–64 77 65+ 55 Education Primary / secondary school 65 College / apprenticeship 79 University degree 94 Awareness of spam: • is significantly higher amongst people who have personal email addresses and mobile phones; • is significantly higher amongst people aged under 65 years (particularly those aged under 50 years); and • is higher amongst those with higher education and income levels. Understanding of spam Those who had heard of spam were then asked an open-ended question about how they would describe spam to someone who had never heard of it before, and what would they say about it. The purpose of this question was to gain insight into people’s understanding of spam. The key results are summarised in the following table. ACMA Report: Community Attitudes to Unsolicited Communications 42

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